(Above video clip is for Dual Aqua – posted on April 12, 2015)
Dual Aqua, one of my new 2015 workshops and IAFC sessions, features choreographed combinations and Tabata drills for dual depth (deep & shallow) participation. This full-length video (Part 1 & 2) is now posted on the Fitmotivation website (Basic & Premium). It includes an optional online CEC quiz for 2.0 AEA CECs. The Fitmotivation Online Academy now includes 3 quizzes for a total of 6.0 AEA CECs. (Read more about the online quizzes below)
For the past 18 months I have been interspersing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) drills into my classes with positive results and feedback. Given my history of serving up an abundance of steady-state choreography in my aqua classes over the years, this has been a revolutionary shift for my students and me.
Why the change? If you have been reading this blog you may recall the fact that I teach simultaneous deep and shallow (dual depth) classes at my YMCA due to the limited pool space and the absolute refusal of the members to pay any attention to that thing called a “class schedule.” Well, two years into this now and I am running out of ideas for ‘fresh & new’ choreography for my dual depth classes.
There are many benefits to dual depth instruction, but the fact is you are more limited in creating choreography that can be performed in both depths at the same time. Why? Because you are more limited in moves and in HOW you move. Some base moves and movement techniques cannot be replicated in both deep and shallow thus restricting choreography creativity.
Therefore, HIIT drills have become my new best friend because the powerful exercises used are basic and thus easy to replicate in both deep & shallow simultaneously. And go figure, the HIIT drills have become my students new favorite thing. A new vocabulary has been created in my classes.
“Behold the Clock of Doom.”
“Get ready for 4-minutes of blood, sweat & tears.”
“Something terrible is about to happen.”
“DING DING DING DING…its Drill Time!”
Dual Aqua features 6 choreographed combinations and 2 full Tabata rounds. Tabata is a form of HIIT that features very specific timing – 20 seconds of high intensity work followed by 10 seconds of recovery, repeated 8 times. Before progressing to Tabata in my classes, we spent months doing less intense HIIT drills with work cycles spread out over a longer time frame (30-60 seconds), followed my much longer recovery cycles (30-90 seconds). (Check out my video Sha-Deep!)
Tabata training is not for beginners. It was originally designed for Olympic level athletes before becoming popular in mainstream fitness. The short work intervals (20 seconds) are meant to be “all-out drop dead” bursts of exercise – working at 80-95% of maximum heart rate. Uh…that’s pretty intense given that you only have 10 seconds to recover before doing it again 7 more times.
When introducing Tabata in my classes, we started with a half of a Tabata round – 4 cycles – for 2 minutes. Eventually we progressed to a full Tabata round for 4 minutes – and then added another half round. Now we are up to two full 4-minute rounds in a 50-minute class and I doubt more will be added. The science behind the purported benefits of Tabata training doesn’t seem to indicate the need for multiple rounds.
Combining choreography and Tabata simply makes good fitness sense. The steady-state choreography taught for the majority of the class improves endurance and aerobic fitness; while the high intensity Tabata training taught for 8 minutes improves anaerobic capacity and strength.
Truth be told, I think it is safe to say that very few of my students ever really reach anaerobic levels in those 20-second work cycles – at least based on my own observations. (If my students are reading this don’t get mad at me!) Lest there be any opinions that Tabata training is unsafe for older populations, I can unequivocally report to you that my students only work as hard as their little hearts desire. They work to their own abilities and they know enough to ignore my motivational exhortations to push themselves to the cusp of organ failure.
Check out the full video for Dual Aqua, Part 1 & 2 and the choreography notes, currently posted on the Fitmotivation website. Even better, if you are an AEA certified instructor you can earn 2 AEA CECs just by watching the video and reading the quiz handout.
In order to access the quiz:
- You must be a Fitmotivation video subscriber – Basic ($14.95) or Premium ($24.95)
- Log in and open the Dual Aqua video (Part 2) and scroll down to the Quiz link
- The quiz requires a separate payment - $20.00 for Basic subscribers and $10.00 for Premium subscribers
- Purchase quiz and then you can print out the 5-page CEC handout
- Watch the quiz, read the handout and then take the 20 question quiz
- If you do not take the quiz right away – NO WORRIES – it will be stored in your Recent Purchases
- Upon successful completion of the quiz – you will be prompted to print out your CEC form.
There are currently 3 videos that feature online quizzes:
Aqua Abs Noodle
Aqua Yoga Stretch
EXCEPTIONAL VALUE: Subscribe to the Premium plan for $24.95 a month – complete the 3 quizzes for a total of $30.00 – and then because there is no commitment you can cancel before your next month renews.
And what did you get for $54.95? 6.0 AEA CECs and the opportunity to watch over 30 aquatic fitness videos for a month. As my dad used to say…”That’s a pretty good gosh darn deal.”